Writing Tips

Weekly writing tips

My Writing and Editing Steps

Authors differ in how they approach writing a novel. Some outline the story first and write detailed character sketches. Others, like me, make up everything while they write. Some edit as they write. Others write the story without editing, then go back… Read More ›

Book Length Issues – Part 1

I receive quite a number of questions about how long a story should be and how to alter a story so that it matches length expectations. Many writers, especially younger ones, ask me how to lengthen stories. Yet, it’s interesting that… Read More ›

Letting Your Readers Celebrate – Reward the Hero

In an earlier post I mentioned the need to express triumph and satisfaction in a story’s ending phase. When the heroic character (usually the protagonist) achieves a major goal, we need to provide a feeling of triumph that overcame seemingly impossible odds. Because… Read More ›

The Conflict Cycle – Part Two

In last week’s tip, I began a discussion of the conflict cycle and looked at the first of these two main components: An obstacle arises to block a character from achieving a goal. The character responds to the obstacle. Today, I will… Read More ›

The Conflict Cycle – Part One

(The outline material for this series of tips comes from Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain.) Every story needs conflict. Without conflict, there is no real story. Simply put, conflict comes from any obstacle that blocks your character’s… Read More ›